This project was to build an 8' fence for additional privacy since pre-made panels only come in 6' height. Though it is more time consuming to build it from scratch, you are able to design it to be more structurally sound.
Start by securing a string from one end of the designated area to the other. For this fence, I used 10' posts, cemented 2' deep using one and a half eighty pound cement bags per post. It is very important to use a leveler to align the posts. You can't rely on just by sight. One thing to keep in mind is the grading of the area.
You must decide if your fence is going to be bubble level or go with the grading of your property. If the the grading is only gradual, a level fence will look much more appealing, especially if you decide to sell your home. A buyer will certainly notice if the fence looks crooked.
The difference between a pre-made fence panel and one that you construct is that you can reinforce the frame in the design. For this fence, I used 2"x4"x8' boards as a frame instead of the panels that come with only 3" width frame. I also installed additional supports under the boards for stability.
In the progression of this construction, I decided to build bubble level. In doing so, I only had to adjust 6 inches on the frame at a gradual decline. To get the most use of the fence boards, I also trenched and back filled with gravel to avoid any deteriation of the lumber due to contact with the soil. I see in many cases when posts rot due to insufficient cement used, also, from filling the post holes with dry cement and adding water only on top.
Another area where I noticed that most fences start falling apart is in the center of the panel. The reason for this is that the pre-made panels only come with 3" frame board and are not reinforced. In my design, I secured a 2"x4" board, and cement it. The board does not have to be placed very deep since it is more for the strutural stability of the panel. Using this method will insure that your fence will last much longer, and it will also minimize any swaying from the wind due to it's height.
As you can see by the completed product, this fence is level and very structurally sound. Simply using treated lumber is not enough. For longevity, it is very important to Stain Your Fence. As expensive as materials are, you need to protect your investment.
Though in the past, I have used a stain product called Penofin; it has become too expensive. It's cost was up to $40 per gallon. I did find an alternative with a stain called Ready Seal for $24 . For this fence, I used the color light oak. I would recommend staying away from Behr Stains. From my experience and confirmation from Home Depot employees, this stain always leaves an orange tint, no matter which color you use. I am told that it is simply the combination of colors used.
The length of this fence was 70', the equivalent of nine 8' length panels. In addition, I used 9 gallons of stain which depended on the absorption rate of the wood. The better it absorbs, the less you have to re-treat.
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